I did not know Mia McEldowney. But those in the art world who did speak of her with love and admiration. From 1983 to 1997, she ran an art gallery in Seattle, featuring artists including Joe Max Emminger, Julie Paschkis, Daniel Minter, Carl Smool, and Terry Turrell. She died on February 1 at age 62 at her home on Vashon Island (her obituary).
McEldowney not only supported artists. She also trained young curators. Meg Shiffler wrote on Facebook:
- Courtesy of the artists and Grover/Thurston Gallery
- A Cake and a Cat was made by Joe Max Emminger and Julie Paschkis and seen in a rare collaborative show at Grover/Thurston Gallery last year. Emminger and Paschkis were two artists McEldowney supported when her gallery was open; next month, a show of their works curated by McEldowney will go up on Vashon Island.
I've had two amazing mentors in my life. Marcia Tucker, who passed away in 2006, and Mia Mia McEldowney who passed away on Friday. Both women died way too early, and I feel like I have a big hole in my heart. I owe much of my professional success to Mia who taught me to truly love art, respect artists and work hard. Marcia taught me that you need a life outside if work. My mentors are gone. Maybe I'm a mentor now.
Before she died, McEldowney had been organizing an exhibition of work by Emminger, Paschkis, and Turrell set to open March 1 at Valise Gallery on Vashon Island. The show will go on as planned, opening Friday, March 1, from 6 to 9 pm. Also, Valise will be open from noon to 2 pm on Sunday, March 3, so people can stop there on their way to a Celebration of Mia's Life, which will be held at Camp Burton, beginning at 2 pm. I predict it will be colorful.